Sunday, January 15, 2012


35 years ago, they were in love. Thirty years later, he was locked in jail, while she was locked in a self imposed prison. Her life filled one small room.

Thirty five years ago, he was presented with a new child. Thirty five years ago, she too was introduced to a child, it wasn't hers, it was her husband's. It was a bi-racial child, she and her husband are both black.

This is a short love story. A love story filled with so much pain that it's impossible to have an happy ending, but it does. Yet, how could a woman endure the pain of being presented with four children, by her husband, that he fathered outside their home?

Ten years ago, she stayed locked in her room while her husband stayed locked in the basement, locked in love with his crack pipe. Day after day, she prayed and listened to gospel music. Gospel music is her first love, it has sustained her through trying times. On any given day, she can be heard singing songs by the Five Blind Boys, The Gospel Southerners or Kirk Franklin. On Sundays, while at church, she seldom needs the assistance of the hymn book, she knows most of the songs by heart. Last week she was heard singing "Hold To Gods Unchanging Hand". She owns a collection of over 500 recordings.

Several years ago, I went before a Judge to ask for my freedom. Five years ago, she too went before a judge to ask for her freedom. She wanted a divorce. She was stuck to her her vows - to death do them part. Her husband was stuck in a mindset that the world, and his wife, were his oyster. He believed that he could do whatever he pleased, because his wife had always stood by his side. But she was dying - and he was slowly killing her.

One day she was lying in the hospital - near death. A tracheotomy was performed to save her life. Her husband came by. He took her wedding ring from her finger and took it to the pawn shop. She lived, yet laid bed ridden for nearly a year. During that time, they lost their home. She was forced to move in with her mother. She wasn't raised by her mother. Her mother gave birth when she was only 16. She was raised by her grandmother who now needed care and was living in her home. The wife, her two children and her grandmother moved into her mother's cramped home. Times were very difficult.

Years ago, I stood in front of a church and gave testimony of my sins. Prior to that, while sitting in my jail cell, lonely and confused, I got up and gave my mother a call. I told her I needed some help. My bond was $50,000. She said she had given it to God. I didn't like that answer but it made him think. When I thought about it, those individuals in the church that I thought were squares or boring, were not in jail with me. Those individuals that I unconsciously wanted to emulate were not crying in the dark. I was locked up with a gaggle of fools - I was one of them. Consequently, I was one of the biggest fool on the block.
But see, I didn't know the women in this story, nor her drug using husband, but later...

I prayed. One day I was released from jail. She prayed, she was released from her husband. The day I stood in front of the church, she was there. She said she heard something in my voice. It was a Thursday. Friday would be the last day of the churches fall revival. We met in an area outside the sanctuary and exchanged pleasantries. I told her I was planning on returning the next day. She told me that she might see me again. Outside the church, she spotted me across the street, smoking a cigarette and wearing a baseball cap that barely covered a doo-rag. She thought to herself, "that man has not changed, he's nothing but an educated thug", but she remembered my voice.

I had to accept the fact that I was no longer married. I had lost my love, my rock, and the love of myself. Yet, deep inside, I hadn't lost the ability to love. That Friday, we met again. I asked her if she was seeing someone. She said no, then I asked if I could call. She gave me a strange look, yet grudgingly took my number. Outside the church, she tossed the number into a garbage can.

She had been severely hurt by love. She'd also lost confidence in herself. Her struggles left her insecure. A conversation inside the church is one thing, but she wondered what this man, "I" wanted now.

Before that meeting, there were good times, yet, when God called my wife home, my life spiraled out of control. I wondered if I would ever find love again. Not just for someone else but for myself. I was convinced that if I believed in the concept of God, then I could live again. First, I had to own up to my mistakes, and not just talk about them, but walk the talk. I had to clean my side of the street.

A few weeks after meeting the women in the vestibule of the church, I went back to the church and asked the secretary for the number of my new found friend. I lied, I told the secretary I was looking for a hairdresser for an acquaintance of mine. The secretary had never seen me before my first visit. She gave me the number.

Thinking back to the meeting at the church, I saw a humbleness in her that pierced my soul. Even though her sadden eyes told a story of misery and pain in which he was very familiar, I saw something inside her that spoke of a good woman.

She lost her husband to drugs and divorce. I lost my wife to cancer. She died several years ago. I am doing okay now. We've been dating for a couple of years. This Christmas, we have plans to fly to Atlanta to spend the holiday with my daughter and  grandson. My new friend has never been on a plane. She's scared to death.

They say God gives us memories to lead us to our victories. We are not looking back. Both of us remember the good times and the bad times.

What about a time called now!?

Her words on Love:

Love can be a smile, a phone call, a letter or sharing a hug. Love is showing a deep endearing concern for others. But in order to do that, I feel that you must know how to love yourself as well as others. Here are some of the things I feel love is.....

1. Love is a gift
2. Love has no fear.... saying how you feel.
3. Love is complete
4. You don't just visit love. It's not a bus stop.
5. Love has to be deeply rooted, it's a learned behavior.
6. Love heals
7. Love sustains you in the times of trails and tribulations
8. Love nourishes the soul
9. Love does not stagnate, it's always making progress.
10. Love is saying I do when you don't
11. Love is sacrifice
12. Love is loving those when they don't love you back.
13. Love is building.... making a foundation to continue.
14. Love is agape.... never ending
15. Most of all, love is wholeness, love requires a valued contribution


Carolyn said...

A poignant post...cathartic..therapeutic?? hmmm..

First time viewer and I must say that I plan to feature your blog and this post in particular. This will be a revelation for many viewers as to the complexities and
the sad and desperate aspects of human existence. It will also reveal the amazing power of forgiveness and redemption or maybe not. This will certainly give us another way to view...that's for sure!!!!!

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

This was so intense. I truly held my breath as I read it. So amazingly beautiful.

This should be a movie. TRULY.

Love you and for some reason, you came to mind. I'm so glad you did. I needed to read this story and have it stored in my love bank for future reference.

I've heard that LOVE is a verb.

Love, peace and continued blessings in HIM.